The 3D version of Disney’s 1994 hit “The Lion King” roared to the top of the weekend box office earning a surprising $29.3 million in its opening weekend. The original Simba made $40 million when it opened nationwide seventeen years ago.
The figure surprised a lot of people including studio executives themselves. According to Dave Hollis, Disney’s Executive Vice President of Distribution, they expected “The Lion King” to make just around $10 million to $12 million. Hollis believes that the kids of the 90’s who are now parents are bringing their children to the movie they watched nearly two decades ago.
“The Lion King” revolves around Simba, a wrongly exiled lion prince who must return home to claim his throne. The young Simba is voiced bywhile lends his voice to the adult lion prince. In 1994, “The Lion King” ranked second to Forrest Gump. The original movie ranked fourth on the all-time animated list grossing more than $784 million. It won Academy Awards for original score and original song for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” for Elton John and Tim Rice.
Last week’s top grosser “Contagion” dropped to second spot with $14.5 million increasing its two-week total to $44.2 million. “Drive,” starring Ryan Gosling is at third spot earning $11 million on its opening weekend. “The Help” drops to fourth spot with $6.4 million upping its six-week total to $147.3 million. Sony Screen Gems’ “Straw Dogs,” the remake of the 1971 thriller rounds out the top five with $5 million.
Here is the rundown of the top ten movies in last week’s box office race: